Massachusetts Historical Society

Digital Collections

Search and browse everything we have online. While most of our more than 13 million items are not yet digitized, we are adding to our online content every day. To search descriptions of the entire MHS collection, including both online and offline content, use our library catalog, ABIGAIL.

Search Item-level Content

Search 6000+ items in our item-level database. This database is where we keep digitized items used in online web presentations.

Search Collection Guides with Digital Content

Search 100,000+ images of documents, photographs, and other items. Unlike the item-level database, these digitized records do not have metadata associated with individual items. Instead, there are detailed descriptions at the box, folder, and collection level.

Search Digital Editions

Search the full text of our documentary editions. All editions have individual search tools in addition to this one. Many editions have editorial annotations; the John Quincy Adams Digital Diary also has page images.

Digital Features

Our digital features are sets of digitized items which present a common topic, such as the American Revolution, or highlight a specific collection, such as the papers of Thomas Jefferson. They include online exhibitions, large digitization projects, digital publications, and a few third-party resources. 

Why are there so many different tools for finding content?

We usually digitize content based on available funds from grants that have specific goals. Some consequences of this are, for example, larger collections becoming digitized but not transcribed, or smaller, focused sets having more detailed metadata and transcriptions. If you would like to help us in our digitization efforts, we invite you to join a crowd-sourcing project, or donate to the MHS Fund.

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